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Engaging with industry

Class 1 permit duration extension

Extension of permit durations to 12 months for Class 1 Oversize and Overmass heavy vehicles was announced in June 2019.

The significant increase from three month network permits and 28 days to 12 months for route specific permits was welcomed by the heavy vehicle industry. The initiative highlighted the department's continued commitment to the National Oversize Overmass Review to provide efficiencies in the heavy vehicle permit assessment process.

The department has since seen a steady decrease of up to 50 per cent compared against 2019 application data in Class 1 Oversize and Overmass permit applications.

It is estimated that industry will save approximately $1 million in fees and around 3300 hours in permit application processing.

Read more about class 1 permit duration extension.

Class 1 heavy vehicle permits return to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator

The department successfully completed the Return of Delegations Project for Class 1 heavy vehicles in December 2019. All classes of permit applications for travel through and within Queensland are now processed by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator through an online portal system providing a consistent approach to the permit application process and enabling heavy vehicle industry to track the progress of their applications.

Heavy Vehicle National Law Review

Led by the National Transport Commission, the Heavy Vehicle National Law Review is a unique opportunity to take a fresh view of how the industry regulates heavy vehicles and ensure that the law is fit for purpose to meet the challenges of the future.

Over the past 12 months, the department has participated in extensive preliminary consultation to assist in identifying issues with the current law and provide possible solutions. Areas of key focus have included:

  • supporting safe and efficient access
  • enhanced risk-based fatigue management
  • increased use of technology and data
  • improving the accreditation framework to foster more innovative, efficient, and safer compliance.

The next phase of the review will include the release of a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement, which will test a comprehensive set of potential policy options for the new law.

As host jurisdiction of the law, the department has continued to manage the passage of legislative amendments through the Queensland Parliament, with the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 being assented in September 2019. This addressed some operational, minor, and technical drafting issues to improve roadside enforcement, reduce the compliance burden for industry, and reduce the administrative burden for jurisdictions and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

Queensland will continue to work collectively with the Commission, the Regulator, other jurisdictions, and industry to deliver a modern, outcome-focused law that will improve safety for all road users, support increased economic activity and innovation, and simplify the administration and enforcement of the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

Improvements to national notices for heavy vehicles

The department has continued working with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to harmonise national notices and to further refine existing notices to provide the heavy vehicle industry with improved access efficiencies and consistency across borders. Notices serve the same function that a heavy vehicle permit has traditionally provided and deliver significant administrative and cost savings for transport operators.

The 2020 National Class 2 Road Train Notice, released in June 2020, consolidates road train combination requirements, facilitates cross-border access, and reduces permit volumes.

The National Rationalisation of State Notices for Load Carrying Vehicle Dimension and Mass Exemptions provides an enhanced single reference point for industry to use, particularly operators undertaking cross-border operations.

With the opening of the Toowoomba Bypass in September 2019, the department was also able to safely extend access for road trains and Performance-Based Standards level 3 combinations from Toowoomba to the Gatton Road Train Transfer Facility on the Warrego Highway.

Port of Brisbane Freight Precinct

To provide enhanced, safe, and simple access for heavy vehicles servicing Queensland ports, a Declared Freight Precinct has been developed in partnership with the department, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Brisbane City Council, the Port of Brisbane, and industry.

The precinct includes the area covering Lytton, Hemmant and Murarrie areas east of the Gateway Motorway on state and council roads.

The development of a freight precinct adjacent to the Port of Brisbane, allows additional heavy vehicle mass and dimension exemptions to assist with the movement of imports and exports travelling between the port and key customer destinations in the Lytton/Hemmant area.

The first stage of this initiative concerning access for heavier Performance Based Standards A-Doubles was introduced in mid-2019. A second stage with low loader operations for flat rack and open top containers has also been introduced.

Access arrangements are currently provided under Class 3 route specific permits, pending the development of a National Notice by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

Consultation on Queensland’s tow truck scheme

In response to the recommendations made by the Queensland Government, a commissioned independent investigation into the tow truck and vehicle removal industry was undertaken. To ensure the rights and interests of private property owners and occupiers, towing operators, and motorists are appropriately balanced, the department commenced a post-implementation review of the reforms, including identifying opportunities to improve and modernise Queensland’s tow truck scheme.

The review used multiple methods of consultation to a broad range of stakeholders, including direct mailouts, industry forums, and the release of an online discussion paper titled Your say on Queensland’s Tow Truck Scheme. Stakeholders including the tow trucking industry, the community, RACQ, and the Queensland Police Service provided invaluable feedback on change proposals.

The consultation will ensure the scheme provides an effective and contemporary regulatory framework. Feedback from stakeholders will guide proposed scheme changes that will be considered by the Queensland Government.

Read more about the tow truck licensing scheme

Industry relationships delivering for Queenslanders

Over the past 12 months the department has worked closely with many industry groups in the development of new specifications and technical notes that keep industry delivering for Queenslanders.

Engagement and consultation occurs throughout the year with many different stakeholders including:

  • The Australian Asphalt Pavement Association as part of a joint Strategic Alliance
  • Cement and Concrete Aggregates Australia – formed a working group on MRS/MRTS10
  • Plant-Mixed Lightly Bound Pavements specification suite
  • Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland and Demolition and Asbestos Industry Association
  • Civil Contractors Federation
  • Consult Australia
  • Queensland Major Contactors Association
  • RACQ
  • ITS Australia
  • Roads Australia
  • Austroads
  • Engineers Australia
  • Australian New Car Assessment Program
  • Queensland Trucking Association and Livestock Carriers
  • local government.

The department continues to work closely with Queensland industry partners and liaise at a national level via the Austroads Task Forces with Director-General, Chair of the group. 

The department has also recently started collaborating with Main Roads Western Australia on a significant recycled plastics project as part of the National Centre of Excellence.

Leading Australia at the World Road Congress

In October 2019, the department's Director-General attended the World Road Congress in Abu Dhabi. Mr Scales attendance was sponsored by Roads Australia and as the First Delegate, led the Australian Delegation comprised of more than 45 key stakeholders from the transport industry. The event, hosted by PIARC, the World Road Association, was held for the first time in the Middle East with 3000 attendees including 46 Ministers from across the globe.

With the overarching theme of 'Connecting Cultures, Enabling Economies', many topics aligned to the department's strategic direction including road safety, connected and automated vehicles, sustainability, and accessibility. Specifically, discussions around the relationship of public and private organisations in preparing and introducing connected and automated vehicles generated key insights to inform the department's Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI). Further insights from the Abu Dhabi Traffic Management Centre technical tour and presentations on asset management and resilience also provided important learnings for Queensland and Australia.

Along with attending sessions, presenting the Road Safety Prize, and participating in tours, Mr Scales also presented two technical papers:

  • Delivering network mobility for Brisbane through integrated busways and transitways.
  • Risk Context Profiling – An integrated tool for Program and Project Risk Management.

Overall, the conference provided an important platform to collaborate and discuss future trends and opportunities with key international decision makers and ultimately shape the future of transport in Queensland.